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LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XII, April 12-15, 2018

LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XII, April 12-15, 2018

Old Nov 7, 17, 10:48 am
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LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XII, April 12-15, 2018

Dates are set, April 12-15, 2018, for another LEX gathering, to visit Keeneland, horse farms, and bourbon distilleries and enjoy some southern food and hospitality. There may even be a free Bourbon Trail T-shirt involved!

This is Keeneland's second weekend of the meet.

I know that I am disappointing some folks who could only come a different weekend, sorry.

This schedule is likely to be altered as time goes on. Different people want different things, or have already been on specific tours, so we do not generally run around as a group the whole weekend.

EVOLVING TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Nothing is mandatory during the whole weekend of course. Do what you like. I would appreciate a general heads-up on things you are doing in case reservations or food procurement is involved. Restaurants get testy if there are no-shows on Keeneland weekends.

THURSDAY

1. Some folks arrive, including me.
2. Probably beers back at the hotel or maybe Beer Trappe or Country Boy or Ethereal (see below).

FRIDAY

1. Most people arrive.
2. Keeneland at 1 pm?
3. Bourbon tours (see above, or on your own)
4. Lunch undefined
5. Dinner/beers at West Sixth Brewing ?
6. Drinks/pub?
7. Afterparty at 4 Pts or other host hotel?

SATURDAY

1. POSSIBLE:

Morning visit to an Icelandic horse farm, run by a high school friend of mine and her daughter. Between LEX and Louisville. See training, babies, etc. http://www.lettleikiicelandics.com It is about 25 miles past Four Roses, so the trip could be combined somehow.
2. Keeneland. 1:05 pm. Many people go for 2-3 hours, but there are about 9 races, 30 minutes apart.
3. Not sure about the potluck/party at my parents', as in DOs past. Maybe.
4. Or go out to dinner. Various possibilities.
5. Drinks?
6. Afterparty at 4 Pts or other host hotel?

SUNDAY

1. Brunch at Stella's (see below). 8:45 am.
2. Maybe Icelandic horses today
3. Usually go to Barrel House Distilling at 11 am (5 minutes from Stella's)
4. Keeneland 1 pm?. LEX is across the street. Depart directly.
5. And/or another bourbon tour?.

OVERVIEW

For those not familiar, what we have done in the past is:

1. Go to Keeneland (one of the most beautiful racetracks in the world) (http://www.keeneland.com) including breakfast on the backstretch
2. Hit a couple nice restaurants during the weekend
3. Consume some adult beverages, perhaps at Country Boy (http://countryboybrewing.com) or the Beer Trappe (http://www.thebeertrappe.com/) or Ethereal Brewing (http://www.etherealbrew.com/). The last one has a nice outdoor deck and is next to a good ice cream parlor.
4. Visit a horse farm or two
5. Tour one or more bourbon distilleries on the KY Bourbon Trail (http://kybourbontrail.com), including the newer Craft Bourbon Trail. "Smithsonian" magazine has listed the KY Bourbon trail as a Top Ten tourist activity in the US.
6. Dinner somewhere like City Barbecue (http://www.citybbq.com), Columbia's Steakhouse, Village Idiot, or other fine establishment.

Or maybe somewhere else for a KY specialty like a Hot Brown. Top 10 Hot Brown competition 2016:

http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/...n-in-kentucky/

A plate with toast, sliced turkey, sometimes sliced country ham, Mornay sauce, generally cheddar cheese sauce, a couple strips of bacon, some sliced tomato, a bit of Parmesan/Romano cheese, baked in the oven. A "heart-attack-on-a-plate." Fantastic, one of the world's best comfort foods.

https://www.brownhotel.com/dining-hot-brown

(There is not as much cheese on there as it appears!)

8. Try other KY specialties, such as beer cheese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_cheese_(spread). Others are discussed here: (Cuisine of Kentucky - Wikipedia)
9. We always have Sunday brunch at Stella's (www.stellaskentuckydeli.com), for real southern fare including Bourbon Ball Coffee, genuine southern biscuits and gravy, locally fresh-ground grits with cheese, unparalleled tomato bisque, etc. They made the "Top 10 KY Hot Brown" list linked above.

This will be reserved for 8:45-9:00 am.
10. Some folks go to Keeneland again, with LEX conveniently across the street for a last-second departure.

Other things to visit in the area:

1. Shakertown, the restored Shaker community outside LEX: http://shakervillageky.org/
2. Mary Todd Lincoln's girlhood home. Future president courted her there: http://www.mtlhouse.org/
3. Ashland, grand home of Henry Clay, the "Great Compromiser": http://henryclay.org/
4. Hiking, perhaps at Red River Gorge: http://www.redrivergorge.com/trails.html
5. KY has one of the best state parks systems in the country: http://parks.ky.gov/
6. Berea College, where there is no tuition and the students work for their education; great restaurant: https://www.berea.edu/
7. Kentucky Donut Trail: http://www.eatkentucky.com/category/ky-donut-trail/

AIRLINES SERVING LEX: http://www.bluegrassairport.com/airlines.html

Alerted by krazycanuck, as of November 2017, the bar at LEX is now part of the Priority Pass network. $28 free per person per visit, it appears. That's almost 4 bourbon-barrel-aged beers at the bar! At that point you will not care if your flight is late.
https://www.prioritypass.com/en/loun...5-ec854aba7e77

If you cannot get award space or a good fare into LEX, keep trying. At least on AA (including with Avios), it opens up often.

WN NOW FLIES TO CVG, which as result has gone from one of the most expensive in the US to well down the list.

There is an airline club at LEX, with access for the following:

AA Admirals Club
DL Sky Club
UA Red Carpet Club
"Day Passes," presumably Priority Pass (?) and maybe for anyone. Perhaps also free for military.

Other airports to consider (all easy access via interstate, ~3 hours max):

SDF, CMH, CVG, DAY, CRW, IND

SDF and CVG are the closest.

Lexington is very easy to get around, but you'll need to have a car or share with someone. So it's not as much of a pain as usual to fly into one with an hour drive, since you'll likely have to rent a car anyway.

Taxis are available, but expensive and time-consuming to wait for. They have Uber in LEX. Recent quote per driver for normal charges: approx 80 cents a mile plus 16 cents a minute. The airport tends to be a bit expensive to fly into/out of, but Avios redemptions work well for cities like ORD, DFW, CLT, or wherever you can get a nonstop flight. Or you can fly into one of the alternate airports given above and rent a car; some beautiful scenery along the way.

Happy to maintain a list of possible carpools in this thread; see post #2. bk3day scored a nice UA bump out of LEX a few years ago, as did iris30 on AA. Those planes can get quite crowded during Keeneland.

Party Central has historically been at the SPG 4 Points, a category 2 Starwood hotel on the north side of town.

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpo...ropertyID=1263

Low redemptions (3K-4K a night), near I-64/I-75 intersection. However, reports from 2017 are that it is slipping. So maybe we should consider somewhere else. Recommendations invited.

PLEASE WEIGH IN ON HOTEL IDEAS.

I am thinking the Hyatt downtown.

HYATT REGENCY LEXINGTON
401 West High Street
Lexington, Kentucky, USA, 40507
Tel: +1 859 253 1234

Category 2. 8000 points or 4000 + $55. $202 plus tax for cash right now. Free parking. Full-service Hilton is across the street. Other hotels not far. Walking distance to to plenty of restaurants/bars.

Any spot in LEX to any other is only about 20-25 minutes driving max, so where you stay is not 100% important.

Youtube channel for Lexington, with some nice material:
Bourbon news from the Lexington "Herald-Leader": http://www.kentucky.com/search/?q=bourbon

Please post if you are definite, maybe, or can't but want to consider another time.

ATTENDING/Likely

bk3day
cocobird
ElmhurstNick
Gone4Weeks
Governator
GrjApp
Herb687
HPN-HRL
icurhere2
makersmark
rxgeek + 1
toomanybooks
TrojanDomer + 1


MAYBE/INTERESTED

Ceres
Jigger
Santander

CANNOT MAKE IT, or unlikely

FlyerBeek
krazykanuck
Sweet Willie


































Last edited by toomanybooks; Apr 9, 18 at 9:02 am
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Old Nov 7, 17, 3:06 pm
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Reserved for carpooling/car rental/ride-sharing info
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Old Nov 9, 17, 11:59 pm
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I'm a strong "maybe" for now. My husband has already finished the two bottles I brought back in October. He definitely likes Kentucky spirits.

As far as weighing in with hotel options, I noticed that the Homewood Suites has AAA rates of $116 plus tax per night, free parking, and breakfast. Haven't stayed there and I don't know the area, but the price point is nice and it has great ratings on TripAdvisor.

Last edited by cocobird; Nov 10, 17 at 1:14 am Reason: added info
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Old Nov 10, 17, 4:21 am
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Originally Posted by cocobird View Post
I'm a strong "maybe" for now. My husband has already finished the two bottles I brought back in October. He definitely likes Kentucky spirits.

As far as weighing in with hotel options, I noticed that the Homewood Suites has AAA rates of $116 plus tax per night, free parking, and breakfast. Haven't stayed there and I don't know the area, but the price point is nice and it has great ratings on TripAdvisor.
Sounds good. LEX Costco has some good prices on bourbon.
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Old Nov 10, 17, 7:34 am
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2 nights (Fri/Sat) booked at the Four Points, schedule looks a go for this weekend, looking forward as it has been awhile since I was last at Keeneland/this Do
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Old Nov 10, 17, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by Sweet Willie View Post
2 nights (Fri/Sat) booked at the Four Points, schedule looks a go for this weekend, looking forward as it has been awhile since I was last at Keeneland/this Do
Sounds good.
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Old Nov 11, 17, 9:52 am
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Please mark me as maybe for attending on Sat/Sun. Flights and hotel (Four Points) booked, but my work travel schedule is a big unknown at this point.

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Old Nov 11, 17, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerBeek View Post
Please mark me as maybe for attending on Sat/Sun. Flights and hotel (Four Points) booked, but my work travel schedule is a big unknown at this point.

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Very good!
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Old Nov 12, 17, 11:43 am
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Please mark me down as probable. I'm finished with the Four Points though.

I've sampled a couple of non-FP options around LEX over the years. My default would probably be the Hilton downtown. If Hyatt loyalists take the Hyatt attached to Rupp and HH types go for the Hilton across the street, we'd all be centrally located.

Hilton is a standard full-service city Hilton. Decent Hilton beds, adequate executive lounge. Very predictable typical Hilton.

Staying downtown would give us bars/restaurants to which we can walk. Several FTers have enjoyed Village Idiot and Parlay Social over the years. Also I hazily remember staggering over to a dive Irish bar a few blocks east of those.

Last edited by Herb687; Nov 12, 17 at 11:52 am Reason: hotel commentary
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Old Nov 12, 17, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
My default would probably be the Hilton downtown. If Hyatt loyalists take the Hyatt attached to Rupp and HH types go for the Hilton across the street, we'd all be centrally located.
Hilton and Hyatt people all being happy together! But what about the SPG folks?!

Mark me as interested for now. I have quite a bit of stuff on the travel agenda for Q1 and Q2, so we'll see what can actually get done.
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Old Nov 12, 17, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
Hilton and Hyatt people all being happy together! But what about the SPG folks?!
There's a Fairfield Inn right up the street from our Half a Point by Sheraton. If I was determined to keep it in the SPG extended family, I'd be looking there.

I can't think of many circumstances that would make me want to stay at that 4P again. Maybe the entertainment value of the screaming match at the front desk reported this fall?
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Old Nov 12, 17, 8:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
I can't think of many circumstances that would make me want to stay at that 4P again. Maybe the entertainment value of the screaming match at the front desk reported this fall?
As I was 1 of the 2 FTers involved in that, and while entertaining because it was just so absurd, I'd rather not relive it. Or the sad breakfast that they serve at the 4P. I've had better free breakfasts at Hampton Inns, and I have a nearly universal hatred of Hampton breakfasts in the US, just as a comparison.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 7:22 pm
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Sorry I haven't responded to this yet, but I'm definitely in! I'm hoping to take Friday off and come in earlier than my usual too-late-for-dinner-on-Friday time, but for now I have flights to/from CVG Friday night & Sunday night. Hotel is still up in the air...
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Old Nov 13, 17, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
Please mark me down as probable.
Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
Mark me as interested for now.
Originally Posted by HPN-HRL View Post
Sorry I haven't responded to this yet, but I'm definitely in!
Duly noted for all. Thanks.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 10:10 pm
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You are Evil!

Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
Duly noted for all. Thanks.
Very tempting. A definite maybe. Will check with the Boss. Please keep me in the loop.
Thanks for the "heads up"
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